Ask and you will receive!

As mentioned, taking action every day is a big key for success. Of course, taking action is much easier when you have a burning desire to succeed. With a strong desire, you will naturally ask questions, so that you use the knowledge of others to check your own understanding.

As a teacher, it is always great to see a student who cares to ask questions when needed. This shows that you care about your own learning and are taking initiative to ensure your success. It is a pleasure to help students who are making the effort to help themselves, by asking questions. When you show that you care, this will be reflected back to you by others, who are more willing to help you.

Of course, just asking questions does not help on its own. You need to have an open mind and a real desire to hear the answer. You need to listen actively to the answer, by thinking carefully along with the explanation. Your teacher wants you to understand fully and they are giving you their best explanation. You must also do your best to receive the knowledge.

Before asking a question, first make a sincere attempt to work out the answer on your own. You will be surprised how many answers your mind comes up with when you do this. When you can’t find the answer after making your best effort, which will include making several attempts, it is then time to ask for help. You will then be ready to receive the help, since your mind has already been working on the solution.

After having made a real effort to answer a question on your own, you will be able to ask a more specific question. You will be able to pinpoint the problem, having already worked out some details for yourself. Maybe the key here is learning to ask yourself questions, so that you give your mind something to work on.

At times I have worked entirely through a multi-step solution to a math problem with a class. At the end of this, sometimes a student will say, “I don’t understand”. Often the problem here is that this student has not made an effort to work out each step first, before immediately asking for help. So, there is not much I can do to help this student, because they are not yet open to receive the help. If this student were first to think about each step of the solution on their own, their question will be about a specific step that is not understood.

Remember, there is no way for someone to give you understanding. There must be effort on your part to work things out for yourself, first. You can’t get something for nothing!

So, how can you do a better job of questioning yourself? How will you show that you have made a serious attempt, before asking questions? Thanks for reading!

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